San Diego Resisting Arrest Lawyer
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The police are vested with responding to, investigating, and making arrests in alleged crimes. Since they investigate and enforce, they are intentionally not part of the judiciary, which is responsible for determining the innocence or guilt of those charged. That function is left up to the court. Despite the best efforts of its officers, the police force is comprised of men and women, who do not always get it right and many times innocent individuals find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of their refusal to be arrested.
The act of resisting an arrest can compound an encounter with law enforcement and can lead to serious consequences. It is important to get a San Diego crimes against the police lawyer if this charge is added to the original offense for which you were being arrested.
What Do I Need to Know?
California Penal Code 148(a)(1) defines what is considered to be resisting arrest as the resisting, delaying, and obstructing a police officer in the execution of his or her duties. Interestingly, the law is not only limited to police officers but also includes Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and the performance of their duties.
Critical to the charge is the duty that is being revisited, delayed, or obstructed. To the general public, it is believed that the duty is exclusive to arresting an individual, however, it also includes the following duties:
- Traveling to a crime scene or an accident;
- Carrying out an investigation; and
- Monitoring of a suspect in the custody of the police.
Accordingly, resisting arrest can be the only charge, but in most instances, it is in addition to the substantial charge that warranted your arrest in the first place.
What Are The Penalties?
Interfering with the lawful duties of a law enforcement officer does not find favor with many since it undermines the public sense of security. Under the California law, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor.
If you are charged with resisting arrest and you are found guilty or plead guilty, you will face up to one year behind bars or a misdemeanor fine of $1,000. The judge can also consider probation instead of jail time.
The amount of jail time will depend on a number of factors. Of utmost importance are the particulars of your case and your criminal history. Even if you plead guilty, it is prudent to have a San Diego resisting arrest attorney to put forward arguments to mitigate on your behalf at sentencing.
You Can Beat The Charges
While resisting arrest is not a felony, the possibility of jail time means that you should take all the possible steps to prove your innocence. Like with every other crime, you are innocent until proven guilty. Many defendants might feel that it is hopeless to defend against this charge as it is a defendant’s word against the police officer’s; however, this is far from the truth.
From the time you are arrested, you should seek the advice of a San Diego resisting arrest attorney. Having a lawyer from the beginning can significantly improve the chances of success in your case. In addition to negotiating a reduction in charges or even an outright dismissal, your attorney will be able to investigate further, prepare, and present a sound defense.
If your matter goes to trial, the law allows a defendant to put forward a defense. The available defense will depend on the particulars of your specific case and any evidence to prove your arguments. They include:
- Your arrest was wrongful or there was misconduct on the part of the police at the time of arrest;
- Your actions were in pursuit of self-defense; or
- You are the victim of false allegations.
While the prosecution must prove your guilt, being able to put forward a defense will strengthen your chances of a not guilty verdict.
Find A San Diego Resisting Arrest Attorney
At McElfresh Law, we are a law firm dedicated to practicing criminal law. For years, we have provided high-quality legal representation to individuals charged with resisting arrest and many other offenses under the California Criminal Code.
If you find yourself in the custody of the police, call us today at (858) 756-7107 because you will need a San Diego resisting arrest attorney to protect your rights and fight for your freedom.